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Adding a shower stall or not?

Posted by dedtired (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 14, 10 at 11:39

I am about to renovate my only full bath. I also have a powder room on the first floor.

My original plan was to have a tub and separate shower stall, but it got to be too expensive to do that. I currently have a shower/bath combo and now plan to keep that arrangement, although totally new and updated.

I hope to stay in this house through my retirement years. Right now stepping over the side of the tub to get in and out is not a problem. Will I regret not adding a shower stall in the future, presuming I have just the usual creaky joints of advancing age?

Adding the shower stall is nearly another $15,000 since it requires expanding the size of the bathroom into an adjoining hall. The house really needs to have a bathtub for resale some day. I almost always take showers.

My neighbor has had two knees replaced and says that getting into the tub doesn't present a problem for her. My 93 year old Mom says I'll be sorry if I don't add the shower stall and also grab bars. I'm 63 now.

What do you think? Should I bust the budget and add the shower stall? If I don't, will I regret it some day?

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Adding a shower stall or not?

If it busts the budget, no. But I would have grab bars added to your current bathroom both in tub and near stool. Since you are remodeling anyway look at suggestions for handicap/disabled bathrooms. You will want the door wider and area around the stool for an assistant to stand. My sister in law was with us for several weeks before her daughter could find a place for her mother in the state she lived in. It was very difficult to give her the necessary personal attention when you had to lean over the person. In giving this additional space it may be necessary to enlarge the bathroom.

If you have any retirement/assisted living/or even active elderly housing in your area you might want to visit to see what is available. We looked at some of the over 50 villa's and were amazed at how friendly the bathrooms and kitchens have become for those with physical problems.

My doctor occasionally tells me to take hot baths to relieve muscle problems. The older women that exercise at the Y with my husband who have removed the tub in favor of a shower wish they had it back.


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RE: Adding a shower stall or not?

Thanks, Maifleur, I appreciate your response. If I ever end up in a wheelchair or seriously disabled, this house will never do. If I should ever reach that point, I would have to move. My mom is still in her own home and doing well, so let's hope I have her genes!

I could add the shower later if I truly need it although it is the more expensive way to go, for sure. I think I'll just forego the shower stall for now and hope for the best.


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RE: Adding a shower stall or not?

Although I have not installed them in our bathroom,yet, safety bars are handy. I have found that a few hotel chains have a much reduced senior rate different from AARP's rate. Because I opt for the cheapest rate they often put me in a room with many of the assists. The bar in the bathtub I find is handy for holding onto to wash my feet and get the soles really clean rather than sitting on the tub edge. Also makes a great place to hang really drippy things until they can be hung up to dry.

We keep having ads for walkin tubs and shower combinations. I have not checked on price so may be really expensive. Since you are planning on staying in the house for a while when you are ready to sell you probably will need to update. If that in mind one of the walk in tubs for now might be an option to look at.


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RE: Adding a shower stall or not?

At age 54 I fell outside and had a compound fracture of my leg. Had a soft cast and used a walker for 3 months.

It was EXTREMELY difficult to step over the tub edge (which is a low tub, BTW). My balance was very precarious. I was able to purchase those suction cup bars, as the shower surround was solid surface and they hold very well on it - I just needed a 'third hand' for balance, not to lift myself up by my whole body weight.

Safety bars in any bath you intend to use if disabled or elderly, are a necessity. A tub may be necessary for good resale, but a shower may well be necessary for your old age.

Consider putting in safety bars now, and at some point, replacing the tub with one of those walk-in models when you finally need to eliminate the 'stepping in'. It would probably be the most cost-effective for you.


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RE: Adding a shower stall or not?

Funny you should mention that. We just removed our bathtub, and replaced it with a walk-in shower unit. We debated over doing that, but we are in our 60's, and find it harder to get in and out of a tub.
Now, we do have a bath tub in another bathroom. We felt a tub would be a selling point when it's time to sell. However, since putting in this unit, I would not hestitate, even if we DIDN"T have another tub. It's worth it. I think anyone buying, would be fine with just a shower unit. IMO


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RE: Adding a shower stall or not?

I replaced my only tub with a pre-fab (acrylic?) shower. I figure when I leave this house I will either be dead or going to a nursing home. Either way I will have enjoyed my shower. A contractor cut the old tub into pieces to remove it, and put the new shower pane in. I was able to keep my tile and I only had to replace 2 rows of it. This was 3 years ago and he charged me $1000 for labor.


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RE: Adding a shower stall or not?

I use the tub but I put a stool in it and use a hand held shower hose. Works well for me. I have a bar on the back of the tub and a unit on the tub and a couple of more to grab on to, while getting in and out. I'm pleased. Cost was very low. I don't like the bath seats so just use an ordinary plastc two step stool with the steps facing the opposite way to the direction in which I am sitting.
IO also bought a very good long mat for the bottom of the tub.

Good luck in making a decision that is right for you.


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RE: Adding a shower stall or not?

Personally if it was me and I could afford it I would have the tub taken out and a shower insert with benches put in. I would not care about the resale. My sister was telling me how much work it was to clean her tiled bath/shower and I realized inserts were so easy to clean, no cracks or crevices. I didn't get shower doors because of cleaning the track.

You might also consider a handicap stool. I had that done for my husband when this home was built. I find that I like it better than the reg. ones. It was only a $100 more when the house was built.


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